Asserting that the Modi government will not allow terrorism to be normalised, foreign minister S Jaishankar, in a veiled criticism of the UPA, emphasised strategic clarity prevents mistakes like Sharm-el-Sheikh and Havana, controversial formulations seen to have conceded ground to Pakistan over terrorism.
He said joint statements with Pakistan - which generated controversy when UPA was in office - sought to place the perpetrator on the same level as the victim. The difference in approach after the Pathankot attack when the NDA government allowed Pakistan’s ISI access to the IAF base for probes, lay in Islamabad accepting the attack originated from Pakistan.
“The probe happened, so Pakistan would not have an excuse to say they had not been given a chance. Government has been clear who the victim is and who is the perpetrator,” said Jaishankar.
In 2009, the Manmohan Singh-Yousaf Gilani joint statement admitted to a possible Indian role in Balochistan. Three years earlier, shortly after the Mumbai 2006 train bombings, Singh and then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf issued a joint statement announcing the creation of a joint anti-terror mechanism - which was criticised by the opposition.
Defining India’s key interests as territorial integrity and a fight against terrorism, Jaishankar said these are non-negotiables in India’s core narrative. Speaking at a book launch on China as a global power, he observed that China, US and erstwhile Soviet Union were all “problem solvers.” India, he said, has traditionally been adept at kicking the problem down the road, leaving it to the next government or next generation. “Our instinct is not to home in to a solution.”